Between orientation sessions, take advantage of GW’s first full year of the U-Pass program, which offers all students free access to the subway and the many off-campus neighborhoods.
While it can be tempting to stay on campus in the Foggy Bottom bubble during your freshman semester, GW’s location offers students an enticing opportunity to explore other neighborhoods in the district. The subway provides extensive access to a variety of DMV attractions, which are easily accessible via the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines at Foggy Bottom station.
We’ve rounded up the best subway stops to help you get the most out of DC’s many neighborhoods:
1. Dupont circle
While Dupont Circle is a 20-minute walk from campus, hop on the subway at Foggy Bottom station and transfer to the Red Line at Metro Center station before getting off at the Dupont station. The small, historic neighborhood will certainly encourage a sense of community, which is especially useful if you’re feeling homesick in the first few weeks of freshman year.
Dupont Circle has some great happy hour deals at restaurants like Mission and The Admiral, both located right at either end of the subway station. The restaurants offer shareable pitchers and small plates on their menus, making them ideal places to meet a group of roommates or roommates.
Although DC offers a wealth of famous Smithsonian museums, the O Street Museum is a must-see when in Dupont Circle. The historical museum, which Rosa Parks calls her home away from home, features everything from written manuscripts, secret doors, rare photos, modern art, etchings and photographs.
2. L’Enfant Plaza
For a night of live music and a variety of dining and nightlife options on the district’s Southwest Waterfront, take the Orange, Blue or Silver Line from Foggy Bottom to L’Enfant Plaza Station, just an 8-minute walk from The Wharf and all of the attractions of the travel destination.
During your visit to The Wharf, catch one of the many upcoming concerts at The Anthem, such as Lorde on August 29th. For a more intimate concert experience, head next door to Union Stage, a venue for smaller indie artists that doubles as a stage bar. Union Stage also offers themed DJ nights, where guests can purchase tickets early to exclusively view their favorite artists’ discography to hear and dance to, like Harry Styles Night, which takes place on August 27th.
Enjoy beautiful views from The Wharf while sitting outside at Mi Vida, a Mexican restaurant owned by acclaimed chef Roberto Santibañez. For dessert, visit the Southwest Soda Pop Shop, a local family business that is a must for ice cream lovers.
3. NoMa-Gallaudet U
One of Northeast DC’s trendiest neighborhoods, NoMa — which stands for North of Massachusetts Avenue — is a foodie’s paradise. Easily accessible from the NoMa-Gallaudet subway station on the Red Line, NoMa is the ideal area for newcomers from DC looking to explore different dining options.
Undoubtedly an obligatory first stop for NoMa visitors, Union Market offers a wide variety of cuisines, including legendary French tearoom Ladurée, innovative sushi restaurant O-Ku, and authentic Vietnamese pho shop Banana Blossom Bistro. As well as great food, be sure to catch a newly released movie like the thriller Bodies Bodies Bodies at Angelika’s Pop-up, one of America’s most famous and acclaimed art houses.
4. Woodley Park
If you’re looking for a quieter residential neighborhood in Northwest DC, check out the Red Line subway station at Woodley Park. The quaint neighborhood offers hidden gems like the classic American restaurant and the Open City coffee house, where guests can enjoy brunch and specialty coffee all day after a long night out.
Next to quiet Woodley Park is the lively area of Adams Morgan, just a five minute walk from the tube station. Adams Morgan not only offers the quintessential Smithsonian National Zoo, but also a variety of popular nightclubs as well as the infamous Jumbo Slice Pizza Mart, making this subway stop a must-visit for new residents of the borough.
5. Gallery Square
To experience DC’s Chinatown, head to the Gallery Place subway station on the Red, Yellow, and Green lines. In addition to authentic Chinese cuisine, the subway station is also adjacent to CityCenterDC, the upscale outdoor space with fine dining and luxury shops. If you have a bit of money to spend, Fig & Olive is a must for some of the highest quality French and Mediterranean fare in the district. Although the restaurant is on the pricey side, the bar has happy hour specials from 4pm to 6pm
Gallery Place is also one block from the Capital One Arena, where visitors can catch sporting events as well as concerts from big artists like Florence + the Machine on September 12th and Lizzo on September 27th. After seeing a concert, head to Jaleo, one of the many famous restaurants created by world-renowned Spanish chef, José Andrés.